That One Time in a Congressional Hearing

Jamie & RDU Interns

Jamie (right) and the other Retaliation and Disclosure Unit interns

I can’t believe this is already the last week of my internship at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel!  The last few weeks have been very exciting, particularly because my intern duties shifted a little bit.  Since my last post, I went from working directly on cases in the Retaliation & Disclosure Unit (RDU) to working on a team tasked with prepping the Special Counsel for testimony in a congressional hearing.

The hearing involved retaliatory practices within the Department of Veterans Affairs, so as an RDU intern, I was asked to help with preparing materials for the hearing.  During these couple weeks, I had to read and summarize reports containing OSC data, watch previous hearings to formulate potential questions that members of Congress might ask, and help put together binders with OSC data for the Special Counsel and his staff to have handy during the actual hearing, among other tasks. All of this culminated in going to the Hill with the Special Counsel to attend the hearing.

I had never been to a congressional hearing before, and it was especially exciting after spending so much time preparing materials for the event.  This opportunity is just another example of how this summer has allowed me to not only explore my interests, but to hone them.  Throughout this summer, I have had the opportunity to work directly on cases where I got to analyze various disclosures and prohibited personal practices, do document review, participate in witness interviews, prepare initial summaries of case files for attorneys, and participate in preparing the Special Counsel for a congressional hearing, which allowed me to engage in hands-on experience to learn more about congressional investigations and oversight.  These varied experiences have been invaluable in realizing what kind of law I’m interested in, and have opened doors to pursuing those interests.

Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better summer experience here at OSC.  Working directly on cases and preparing for and attending a congressional hearing (and weekly trivia night!) are only a few of many examples of why I have enjoyed my summer so much.  I am excited to bring what I learned this summer back to Williamsburg with me in a few weeks!

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On Bank Fraud & Trial Prep

2L Samy Abdallah is working with the US Attorney's Office in North Texas

2L Samy Abdallah is working with the US Attorney’s Office in North Texas

Hello All!

It’s Samy, coming at you with another 1L Summer internship update. My time at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas—Dallas Division has continued to interest and engage me in many ways! I just want to give y’all some updates on some of the legal and non-legal activities I have had the pleasure of taking part in.

A couple of weeks ago, the legal interns in my office (nine of us in total) had an off-site excursion with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) where we learned about the history of the ATF. After that, we were shown different types of explosives typically encountered by ATF agents. Finally, we got to shoot some weapons under the guidance of experienced ATF agents. The firearms we shot ranged from small 9mm handguns to as big as tactical shotguns and AK-47s! It was a great experience!

We also got to meet with U.S. Postal Inspector Special agents and learn about their job. Seeing how Postal Inspectors deal with harmful and dangerous things traveling through the mail was very insightful. It also made me realize how basically everything travels through the mail and how pervasive their job is. My fellow interns and I also got to tour the regional office of the Secret Service and learn about many efforts to hinder and stop counterfeiting. These off-site trips have been very helpful because they show how the U.S. Attorney’s Office works very intimately with a plethora of different federal agencies.

The downtown Dallas skyline makes for a killer work view!

The downtown Dallas skyline makes for a killer work view!

I have been lucky because a trial started this week for a bank fraud case that I have been helping with since I got to the office. Seeing a trial play out in real life is incredibly interesting. I can comfortably say it is nothing like you may see on television. Everything from pretrial motions to jury selection, to cross-examining witnesses is done very meticulously. I never got to see a trial, or even set foot in a courtroom before I started this internship, seeing a court case play out in real life is incredibly fascinating. Furthermore, because I helped the AUSA’s with some of the pretrial motions and trial prep, seeing the litigation firsthand is special since I know I helped my supervising attorneys.

That’s all I have this time! I hope y’all will drop by for my final update in a couple of weeks!